Sulfur mustard (SM), commonly known as mustard gas, is an alkylating chemical warfare agent (CWA). Previous studies have shown that airway hyperactivity, chronic bronchitis, bronchiectasis and bronchiolitis obliterans are some chronic pathologic effects of SM exposure. Recent studies have indicated that some cytokines may play a role in inflammatory reactions in the airways of SM-exposed patients. In this study we measured the levels of vascular endothelial growth factor-A165 (VEGF-A165) and transforming growth factor-β1 (TGF-β1) cytokines in serum of victims of mustard gas and compared them with normal population. In this cross-sectional study 25 SM-exposed patients and 25 unexposed participants as control group were enrolled. Serum concentrations of VEGF-A165 and TGF-β1 were measured by a sandwich enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) technique. Serum level of VEGF-A165 in the victim group was 1.98 ± 0.46 pg/ml and that in the control group was 2.51 ± 0.38 pg/ml. Serum level of TGF-β1 in the victim group was 15.33 ± 1.73 pg/ml and that in the control group was 11.861 ± 2.62 pg/ml. There was no significant difference between victim and control groups for both VEGF-A165 and TGF-β1 (P = 0.114 and P = 0.076, respectively). This means level alterations in these two cytokines have no significant effect on clinical and pathophysiological manifestations of SM-exposed patients.
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